The Case Against Fast Fashion

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"The things that I’ve learned about fast fashion have opened my eyes and caused me to make changes in my life. It’s also significantly influenced the way I choose to run Anuket Luxury Apothecary." 

Ashlee Dozier

It’s likely we’ve all done it. You know what I’m talking about, that high when you find the perfect $12 dress that is so trendy and cute but also so cheap that it doesn’t matter that it will be useless in less than a year. It’s got great marketing, it’s an easy fix for your weekend out plans, and you feel like you really got a deal, right? That may be true, but I’m here to burst your bubble and let you know that you are literally the only one who got a good deal in that dress’s lifetime. That dress is a product of Fast Fashion. 

Fast fashion has made a huge name for itself in our society, but at the cost of the economy, society, and the environment. If you didn’t know, that’s ok. It’s by design. Low pricing, attractive marketing, and our on-the-go lives make it so easy to participate in convenience without questioning the methods.

I’m not about guilt or shame ever, but I am a firm believer in doing better once we know better. The things that I’ve learned about fast fashion have opened my eyes and caused me to make changes in my life. It’s also significantly influenced the way I choose to run Anuket Luxury Apothecary.

Today I’d like to talk about some hard truths that will make us all more aware and informed of the impacts of the buying decisions that we choose to make. Do with this information what you will, and remember it’s never about shame, just about making small changes with huge impacts once we’ve become educated about a topic.

Link to Anuket Luxury Apothecary home page
Link to Anuket Luxury Apothecary home page

First let’s discuss some of the very real impacts that fast fashion has on the economy, society, and the environment. While the booming business model of fast fashion may first seem like a positive contribution to the economy, it is setting up to cause far more harm than good. A huge demand for fast fashion has been created but it is entirely unsustainable. Eventually, sooner than we think, the resources to both create and dispose of fast fashion will become increasingly limited causing a crash in the multi-billion dollar industry.

Societally, there are a significant amount of human rights concerns. The garment workers that create fast fashion are not paid a liveable wage. This is not just an overseas problem, this is a right in our backyard problem. According to several sources, US garment workers in Los Angeles are paid an average of $6 per hour. This is HALF of the current minimum wage in California. The conditions have been described as similar to a sweatshop environment and are even worse in factories overseas. 

This US Labor Report found evidence of forced child labor happening in multiple countries overseas. Earlier this year companies like Walmart, Fashion Nova, Gap, Forever 21, Ross, Primark, and more were called out for their part in withholding $3 billion dollars in wages, and the cost of materials and production, from over 4.1 million garment workers and garment factories in Bangladesh. That’s right, they didn’t pay them at all for clothes that had been made and shipped overseas where they’d sell for a profit at an obscene markup. This pushed these workers into extreme poverty in the middle of a global pandemic. 

Back at home, Fashion Nova has been recently called out for only paying workers between $250-400 a week for working DAILY 10-11 hour shifts. Additionally, there have been worldwide complaints of no COVID-19 safety protocols being in place to protect these already exploited workers. 

Link to Anuket Luxury Apothecary homepageAshlee, Anuket founder, wearing a dress she rented from Rent The Runway.
Link to Anuket Luxury Apothecary homepage

Ashlee wearing a dress from Rent The Runway.

Environmentally, the impacts of fast fashion are quite horrifying. According to Business Insider, the production of fast fashion creates the same amount of carbon emissions as the entire European Union. That is about 10% of the globe’s emissions, just from this part of the garment industry. In the article, it also states that fast fashion is the world’s second largest consumer of the global water supply. If you ask me, that’s a human rights concern as well when Flint, Michigan, still doesn’t have clean drinking water, as well as millions of other humans across the globe. It requires about 700 gallons of water to make one, yes one shirt. Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten to the waste.

The Ellen MacArthur Foundation released a report stating that one garbage truck full, almost 6,000 pounds, of clothing is dumped in landfills or burned every second. At this rate, that is enough to fill 1.5 Empire State Buildings every day and enough to fill the Sydney Harbor yearly. Needless to say, the waste is a huge component of the concern of fast fashion.

While people may have different morals and values on economy or even humanity (unfortunately), most of us can agree that without a habitat to live in, we won’t even be here to argue the rest of it. We are zooming towards a tipping point globally and it is truly up to us to step up and make change while corporations and governments drag their feet on these life threatening issues.

Now that I’ve possibly ruined your last 10 minutes, I’m sorry, I know these facts are heavy, let’s discuss why sustainability matters and then we’ll get into some action steps that you can take right now to begin making a difference in the fight against fast fashion. In this Forbes article, Megan Eddings, Founder and CEO of Accel Lifestyle, sums it up perfectly. She says, “Sustainable fashion takes into account the entire supply chain and life cycle of a garment, from where and how it is made to when it ends up in our landfills. It is important for consumers to think about how their purchase affects the environment, the lifecycle of their garment, and how to invest in clothes that last longer.”

The more we make ourselves aware of our clothing choices, from origin to final destination, the better we can contribute to repairing and reforming the system that creates the product, and the rate at which we plow through our non renewable resources.

So, how can we be better? First, I’d like to start off by imploring you to take this at a reasonable pace. It is much more likely that you will adapt to these changes permanently by making small, impactful changes over time instead of trying to overhaul your whole life. You don’t need to go dump your closet and start over. It’s best to do quite the opposite actually! Here’s a list of some steps you can take to start and as you move forward.

Link to Anuket Luxury Apothecary homepage Ashlee, Anuket founder, wearing a sundress from a clothing swap she hosted with friends.

Photo taken at Sip & Dry in St. Petersburg, FL

Link to Anuket Luxury Apothecary homepage Ashlee wearing a white dress that she borrowed from a friend for a photoshoot. 

Photo by Ashley Taylor Photography Tampa Bay


Take inventory of the pieces you own, if there’s anything that is wearing down, can it be repurposed? If not, can it be donated somewhere that will repurpose the material?

If you have fast fashion that you will no longer use but is still in good condition, consider holding a clothing swap with friends! Have everyone bring pieces they’d like to get rid of and swap. This is a fun and free way to refresh your closet and keep these clothes out of landfills.


Need to pick up a few new pieces? Consider buying “new to you” pieces from thrift stores and second hand shops. These pieces have been loved by someone else but can often be found in excellent condition, and sometimes even new with tags. Thrifting is an adventure and sometimes you will come across the coolest vintage pieces or pieces that can be remade into something even better. They cost is friendly, and you’ve just drastically extended the life span of that article of clothing.

Alternatively, some of these stores, like Plato’s Closet and other consignment shops, allow you to sell your clothing for a small fee. This is great because it can help to make up the price difference on your purchases of new, sustainable clothing while allowing your old clothes to be loved a little longer.

For a fancier option, services like Rent the Runway allow you to rent high end and designer clothes in “like new” condition so that you can keep variety and quality in your wardrobe without breaking the bank or contributing to textile waste. I use this service regularly and can even offer you this special $30 credit! I’m personally a monthly member because it allows me to supplement my high-quality closet staples with fun or trendy pieces that wouldn’t get used in my closet enough to justify purchasing. And for special occasions like weddings or galas, why buy a dress you can only wear once, when you can rent a higher quality one at a fraction of the price?!


When it is time to begin replacing or adding pieces to your closet, remember to consider the sustainability of the entire life cycle of the garment. Expect the pieces to cost more but know that they will last you significantly longer than any fast fashion you’d ever purchase. For this reason, it’s important to invest in classic pieces that can be mixed, matched, and styled for years to come.

I have committed to investing in quality because I know the investment will provide value not just in the comfort and durability of my clothes, but also the alignment with my values and my desire to actively contribute to making the clothing industry more ethical and sustainable. Trendy items don’t make it into my closet through purchase unless it’s something with a high resale value that I’m sure will live a long life beyond it’s stop in my closet.

When adding pieces to my wardrobe, I also try to shop small in addition to sustainable. It’s important to me to see the impact my dollar is making in my local community as well as the global clothing industry. As a small business owner myself, I will always support other small businesses and my local economy whenever I have the option to do so.

Link to Anuket Luxury Apothecary blog about how to support small businesses

I hope this information has provided you with not only education, but practical solutions as well. I know fast fashion feels like a monster that is impossible to take on alone and you’re right. But you’re not alone! There are so many of us making better choices and choosing to educate our families and loved ones. In my commitment as a business owner to make good choices and participate in ethical practices, it’s important that I shared this information with you too. 

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Anuket Owner 

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